Friday Mitt Romney began giving speeches saying that Jeep was closing down its operations in the United States and moving to China. There statement is patently false.
Jeep quickly released a statement denying the charge saying it had no intentions of closing its U.S. operations in fact, it is adding 1,1000 jobs at one facility in Michigan and spending $500 million to refurbish and expand its Toledo, Ohio plant.
Romney continues to repeat the lie as a scare tactic. Sunday Romney doubled down on his falsehood by airing a TV ad that repeats the false claim that Jeep is moving to China. His ad also says that Obama bankrupted Chrysler and the president sold Chrysler to the Italians.
The ad by Romney marks a new low in his campaign. Romney has been hurt in the mid-west because he wrote an op-ed opposing the government rescue of the auto industry, first under Bush, then Obama. Now he is trying to Etch A Sketch his position by making it look like Obama bankrupted Chrysler his article notwithstanding.
Facts have never fazed Mitt Romney. Romney is know far and wide for saying anything he feels he needs to in order to win the audience he is in front of, and he is unabashed in saying the opposite at the very next rally or interview.
For those confused by Mitt’s mendacity, here is a quick summary of the facts on the auto rescue and Jeep.
In the waning months of the Bush administration, it became obvious that General Motors and Chrysler could not last another month without help. Bankruptcy was only an option if the companies were to be liquidated and sold for scrap. There were no private investors willing to step up with debtor-in- possession financing to allow for a re-structuring.
Bush asked Congress for emergency money to keep the auto dealers afloat through the election fearing their collapse would further hurt Republicans and tarnish his already damaged legacy. Congress obliged.
In 2009 when Obama took office, it was clear that nothing had changed for the auto industry. There was still no private money to allow for a re-structuring with or without government loan guarantees. The entire industry including its parts suppliers was on the verge of extinction costing over a million jobs.
Obama used some of the excess TARP money to both loan to Chrysler and GM as well as some parts manufacturers like Delphi, but also to buy stock. That money allowed the companies to then go into a re-structuring through Chapter 11 rather than a liquidation which was all that would have been available when Romney wrote “Let Detroit go Bankrupt.”
Almost all the money loaned to GM and Chrysler has been repaid with interest. The government will make money on the shares it owns. Chrysler needed a new well capitalized owner, and the court approved a sale to Fiat. Obama had nothing to do with that sale despite Romney’s misstatements. The auto industry is saved and GM is number 1 in the worked again, and Chrysler is strong.
Regarding Jeep, there was an article in Bloomberg last week saying Jeep was looking at re-opening its plant in China to make Jeeps to sell to the Chinese. GM makes cars in China to sell to the Chinese. Romney immediately began saying Jeep was moving to China.
Jeep said it was not true, but Romney doubled down with a TV ad. The question voters must ask is what does this say about Romney’s moral character? Is lying a good thing? Is that the attribute we want in a president?
There was a popular bumper sticker during the final years of the Bush administration that said “When Clinton lied, no one died.” This was a reference to the fact the Bush/Cheney administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to get us into war.
Imagine what Mitt Romney will lie to the American people about once he is elected. His entire campaign is built on lies, deliberately misleading ads, flip-flopping, and Etch A Sketching his positions faster than the press can keep up.
Hopefully the people of Ohio, Michigan, and other states whose unemployment rate is lower than the national average because the auto industry is back will not fall for Mitt’s mendacity. It is made worse by the fact Romney made $15.3 million off the auto bailout.
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